Report: Taiwan looks to strengthen IC relationship with Europe

03 June 2022

Taiwan and the European Union held high-level talks to strengthen the semiconductor relationship between regions and stabilize the supply chain.

According to a report from Reuters, the EU has been courting Taiwan, home to the largest foundries in the world, to build plants in the EU while Taiwan has been keen on showing it can be a good friend to democracies as it faces pressure from China, which claims the island as part of its territory.

The EU has been expanding funding for semiconductor manufacturing including the passing of the European Chips Act, a program that would infuse $50 billion into the market to build new chip fabs and expand R&D. The European Chips Act mentioned Taiwan as a possible partner that Europe would like to work with in building new fabs in the region.

Taiwan said that it was in talks with the EU on areas including semiconductor cooperation.

"Taiwan will continue to be a trusted partner of the global semiconductor industry and help stabilize supply chain resilience," said Wang Mei-hua, economy minister from Taiwan. He added that the country has tried its best to help the EU and other partners resolve the global chip shortage and would continue to do so moving forward.

Taiwan isn’t the only company interested in expanding semiconductor operations in Europe. In March, Intel Corp. chose the east German city of Magdeburg to build two chip fabs.

One of the tipping points for choosing a location may have been the announcement of the European Chips Act, which would provide manufacturers with subsidies and incentives to help with construction costs.

Later, Intel said it would pledge at least $87 billion over the next decade on fabs and R&D. This includes the two new fabs in Magdeburg, doubling manufacturing space in Ireland, building a back-end manufacturing facility in Italy and an R&D hub for HPC and AI designs in France.

Individual companies are also upping their own investments in addition to the European Chips Act including Spain with $12 billion and Italy with $4.6 billion for companies wanting to build or expand operations in the countries.

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